Chamber group pays tribute to Mendelssohn

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Chamber group pays tribute to Mendelssohn


Chamber group Opus 5 plays two concerts in Korea this month. Provided by the organizer

As the world celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), Korea’s chamber music group Opus 5 shares their thoughts on the German composer and his effect on their work.

The group consists of pianist Yun Chul-hee, violinists Dennis Kim and Bae Sang-eun, violist Hungwei Huang and cellist Park Sang-min.

As part of their three-part performance tribute to Mendelssohn, Opus 5 will present a concert titled “Mendelssohn Loves Viola” this week and another titled “Song with and without Words” later this month. In March, the group held the concert “Bach, Schumann and Mendelssohn in Leipzig.”

“Mendelssohn’s music is relaxing, warm and full of emotion. The pieces he wrote for piano highlight the colorful musical flow and techniques a piano can create, showing that he was also a great pianist. His piano solos, like ‘Rondo Capriccioso,’ ‘Lieder ohne Worte (Songs Without Words)’ and ‘Variations Serieuses (Serious Variations)’ are often included in performers’ repertoires. His piano trios, in my opinion, are some of the best among the chamber music pieces he wrote for piano, and are among my favorite trios. The biggest charm of his music is the sorrow that’s both bitter and sweet.” -Pianist Yun Chul-hee


Classical music fans celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) this month.

“I have always loved Mendelssohn. I studied with Jaime Laredo at Curtis, and his live recording of the octet at the Marlboro Music Festival really changed my life. Not only is it incredible playing, but the music was so light, so fresh, so magical. I’m sure I’ve listened to that recording over 1,000 times in my life. To be able to play the octet again here in Korea with such professionals and gifted students is an honor, and I hope that the audience can feel the magic I did when I heard the octet for the first time.” - Dennis Kim

“My favorite music is the Mendelssohn String Quartet Opus 13. He wrote it when he was 18 years old. It was his second string quartet and it was inspired by Beethoven’s quartets. Beethoven is my favorite composer, and from this quartet, you can see how much respect Mendelssohn had for him. He came from a very wealthy family, so you can imagine how wonderful his life was. Fancy parties and never having to worry about money. Like his music, so bubbly and full of energy, just like a wonderful bottle of champagne!” -Hungwei Huang
Opus 5 performs at 8 p.m. on June 18 and 30 at Hoam Art Hall in central Seoul. Head to City Hall Station, lines No. 1 and 2, exit 9. Tickets start from 20,000 won ($16). For more information, call (02) 780-5054 or visit

By Kim Hyung-eun []
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